A state of emergency has been declared in Tokyo and three other Japanese provinces following a sharp rise in the number of patients infected with COVID-19.

Iran PressAsia: Residents of these areas have been asked to refrain from unnecessary traffic.

According to Kyodo News Agency, eighteen more people associated with the Tokyo Olympics have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total since the start of July to 294, games organizers said Tuesday.

One of the newly confirmed cases is a Greek artistic swimmer, who was staying in the athletes' village, the organizers said. Of the others, 10 are contractors, five are games-related officials, one a volunteer and another a member of the media.

Of the total, 12 are residents of Japan, they said. The figures exclude those announced by central and local governments in Japan.

Compared with recent record coronavirus cases in Tokyo and across the country, the number of Olympic-related cases reported by the organizers remains low, with officials repeatedly stressing that participants of the games observing strict COVID-19 rules are living in a "parallel world" in the Japanese capital.

The Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee also said 41,997 people from abroad had entered Japan for the games as of Sunday.

The Japanese government said Monday it would tighten border controls for travelers from three US states, Finland and some other areas in response to the spread of highly contagious variants of the novel coronavirus.

In a set of changes to border control measures taking effect Thursday, those arriving from the US states of Indiana, Kansas and Texas, as well as Finland, will be asked to stay in government-designated facilities for three days after arrival and take additional virus tests on the third day.

The same measure will also be applied to travelers from Georgia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Luxembourg and five Russian oblasts including Astrakhan.

Japan will also shorten the quarantine period of 10 days on visitors from Afghanistan to six days in designated facilities, and subject them to more coronavirus testing on the third and sixth days after arrival.

They will still be requested to undergo self-isolation for 14 days after entering Japan.


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